VICTORIA, Nov. 28, 2016
With the two Vancouver Aquarium’s belugas, Qila and Aurora, now dead, all eyes are on whether the Aquarium will continue to confine cetaceans.
While the Aquarium has called these animals “ambassadors,” they have come under increased scrutiny and pressure to end their cetacean captivity and breeding programs.
“It is time to stop sugar coating these animals’ captivity with misnomers such as ‘ambassadors’ or ‘family'” says Jordan Reichert, an officer of the Animal Protection Party of Canada. “Aurora and Qila were prisoners of the Aquarium. However, they committed no crime, but had their liberty withheld from them by exploiting their lack of protection as animals in Canada.”
A recent documentary by Gary Charbonneau, Vancouver Aquarium Uncovered, brought to light years of corruption and questionable practices at the Aquarium including a long line of cetacean deaths. In response, the Aquarium issued a slap-suit against Charbonneau to try to get the film taken down. Only a few minutes of the film’s footage had to be removed because of the case, but an appeal is set to begin early next year to challenge the first court’s decision.
Charbonneau made the following statement in relation to the recent deaths: “Preventable Deaths-months and even years before Hana, Qila and Aurora passed away, cetacean and animal experts warned the aquarium these animals were ill but the aquarium needed them for display and entertainment.”
While the Vancouver Aquarium has not issued a statement saying wheather they will continue keeping belugas in captivity, they did announce today that the autopsy results have been inclusive as to the cause of death of Qila and Aurora.
“It is time to end the unconscionable practice of cetacean captivity” continued Reichert. “We only teach our children animals are objects for our entertainment by allowing this to continue, there is no benefit to the animals. I believe people can respect animals without the need to incarcerate them.”
Victoria Animal News